UNAIDS says Malawi brought down the number of new HIV infections per year between 2001 – 2011 by 72 percent – the best record of any country in Africa.
In September 2011, UNAIDS said, Malawi again took the lead in the fight against HIV and AIDS by adopting a national policy and program that provides lifelong anti-retroviral treatment (ART) to all HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women, regardless of the extent of their HIV infection, known as Option B+.
“Option B+ gives a window of hope and opportunity in which to secure the health of mothers and protect their partners and their unborn children from infection with HIV,” said Malawi Minister of Health Catherine Gotani-Hara. Malawi’s leadership as the first country to adopt Option B+ excited many in the HIV/AIDS community with its remarkable results – a substantial increase in the uptake of antiretroviral treatment among pregnant and breastfeeding Malawian women during the 18 months of the program.
These women know that if they are identified as HIV-positive at a clinic or medical facility they
will immediately be offered lifelong anti-retroviral treatments (ART) .